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Yanaka Shichifukujin: The Oldest Seven Gods of Good Fortune in Edo



2023.01.05 (Thu)

By Dan Lewis, long-term Japan resident & outdoor activity enthusiast.

If you’ve ever visited a shrine in Japan, there’s a good chance you’ve seen statues of a jovial, overweight man with giant earlobes, or those of an older man with an elongated head. These are but two of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune that decorate many shrines and temples throughout Japan. Today we will tell you about the oldest of these in Tokyo - and they’re right here in Taito City!

These Seven Gods of Good Fortune are believed to bring good luck. There’s Ebisu, god of success in business, Daikokuten, the god of wealth. Then there’s Fukurokuju, with origins in China, who is the god of popularity. Bishamonten, the god of good luck, Hoteison, the god of fortune, and guardian of children. And finally, Jurojin, the god of longevity and happiness, and Benzaiten, the only female Fukujin, goddess of learning and fortune.

Yanaka Shichifukujin in Taito City is said to be the oldest in Tokyo. The tradition of visiting seven shrines to pray to each of the Seven Gods is one that has been handed down since the Edo period.

Lastly, we would like to introduce a course to visit Yanaka Shichifukujin. There are many possible courses, but we recommend the “Yanaka Seven Lucky Gods Tour” for beginners.

① Fukurokuju (Togakuji Temple)
② Ebisu (Seiunji Temple)
③ Hoteison (Shusein)
④ Jurojin (Choanji Temple)
⑤ Bishamonten (Tennoji)
⑥ Daikokuten (Gokokuin)
⑦ Benzaiten (Shinobazu Pond Bentendo)

Which temple is top on your list? They say that fortune favors the prepared, but at Yanaka Shichifukujin, fortune favors all who come! Now it’s your turn!

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